High on Fire will release their new album, Electric Messiah on the 5th October 2018 through Entertainment One (eOne) ahead of their UK Co-headline tour with Enslaved. A metal band, through and through, Electric Messiah is the band’s most diverse work to date.
“I had a dream about Lemmy,” says Matt Pike, explaining the inspiration behind the title of High on Fire’s eighth album Electric Messiah.
“When Lemmy was still alive I always got compared to Lemmy,” the guitarist elaborates, “so I had this dream where he got pissed at me. He gave me a bunch of shit, basically, and was hazing me. Not that he didn’t approve of me, but like I was being hazed. The song is me telling the world that I could never fill Lemmy’s shoes because Lemmy’s Lemmy. I wanted to pay homage to him in a great way. And it turned out to be such a good title that the guys said we should call the album Electric Messiah. Although at first, the working title was ‘Insect Workout With Lemmy’,” he adds with a big laugh.
The heavy metal fever is alive and well in Electric Messiah and High on Fire are the symptoms. Spewn from the Earth is a firecracker of hyper-paced metal riffs, pounding percussion and gravelly vocals. The energy drops for the harrowingly heavy rhythm of Steps of the Ziggurat/House of Enlil, a track that shows plenty more range with a doom level of drumming and stoner-fuzzed up riffing.
Then the title track goes into overdrive with a roaring level of heavy riffing before High on Fire throw their all into the 10-minute epic that is Sanctioned Annihilation. A mood-altering track, the rhythm is hypnotic and the drops into deep, throbbing heaviness is so appealing.
These huge tracks are a bold move by High on Fire but are often when the album excels. The faster numbers zip by while these ones give you plenty of time to soak in the infection that the band is spreading throughout the body.
Both God of the Godless and Freebooter continue to do an incredible amount of damage with a bevvy of raging drum beats, fiery riffing and dirty vocals. The pace of the latter is eye-wateringly fast.
Electric Messiah wraps up with two 6+ minute tracks that delves into the aforementioned doomy territory and classic hot & heavy metal. This feels like a step up for High on Fire. Like they’ve surveyed the current scene and want to make sure they put their stamp on things. Eight albums in, don’t put High on Fire out to pastures yet. They belong.
High on Fire – Electric Messiah Full Track Listing:
1. Spewn from the Earth
2. Steps of the Ziggurat/House of Enlil
3. Electric Messiah
4. Sanctioned Annihilation
5. The Pallid Mask
6. God of the Godless
8. The Witch and the Christ
9. Drowning Dog
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High on Fire - Electric Messiah (eOne)
The Final Score - 8/10